While the new Shepherd Velox has been tearing up the tracks in Europe, this is the first time we have come face to face with it and we talked to Patrick Schaefer from Team Shepherd about the new car. Essentially the same as the prototype that was first shown earlier this year in Nuernberg, the latest version features new aluminium parts anodised in blue on all the cars that are present here and some of the plastics are now final such as front wishbones and the lower rear wishbones.
The main feature of this car that sets it apart from others in its class is the braking system, using a cable system it pulls levers on either side of the rear pulley which applies pressure to the mounted brake disk stopping the car, this system allows for more stable and later braking into a corner. Also on the rear end of the car, like on all the new generation 1/8th scales, the rear bodymout A-arms are mounted directly to the rear upright ensuring that the downforce from the body is transferred directly to the wheels.
On the front end of the car, the servo saver features a rather innovative Ackermann adjustment, which is done through the use of one screw, which when loosened allows you to slide the steering rod mount 3 steps forward or back, when selected simply tighten it again. Also new on the servo saver is its mounting which uses a slot on both the chassis and the radio plate instead of a hole which allows you to move the position of the servo saver forward or backward to compensate when you adjust the cars wheelbase.
The new shock absorbers consist of an open ended shock body with an assembly mounted to the bottom that contains the o-rings and holds the shock shaft. This composite part, along with having a built in bleed sytem, has also got a few milimeters of material on the base of where the shaft exits the shock which helps keep the shaft straight. Inside the shock, there is no membrane and instead it uses a floating piston with a spring that takes up any expansion. The photo above does not show the final shock absorber as the blue parts will be silver and the upper shock mounting point will have an open ball joint, similar to the lower one.
Expect to see the car hit the market in December.
View larger and more images in the event gallery here.
With everybody waiting for the track to dry, I took the opportunity to talk to Takashi Miyashita, head designer of the new Evolva M3 about his creation. Essentially a completely new platform in 1/8th scale from Kyosho, one of our event site sponsors, the new M3 has been designed to fix all the issues that the team had with the previous Evolva through strengthening and optimising the cars construction. When asked to explain what was new on the car, Takashi replied “only a few of the parts are existing parts”, with the main new part being the chassis which has been designed to accept a smaller receiver pack, making for a narrower chassis plate.
The geometry of this car is however the same as on the previous chassis but the car has just been made narrower, lower and lighter. Other changes are the use of a rubber foam seal for the fuel tank to prevent fuel leaking from the tank, and new eccenters in the front and rear steering blocks and uprights to allow the height of the axle to be adjusted easily, thus changing the cars roll center.
The rear of the car features completely new stronger plastics which also offer more adjustability than on the previous car, while as an additional feature, the car allows the rear wheelbase to also be adjusted through the use of spacers, similar to the front. The rear of the car now also has the rear body mount A-arms mounted to the center of the rear upright, similar to that seen on both the new Serpent rear end and Mugen MRX-4X, of which you can find images of in our gallery.
Another new feature of the car is the ability to mount the throttle servo in the stand up position, as well as the laydown position, something that offers great flexibilty and choice to the racer. Finally the car features carbon side stiffeners on both sides which, combined with the front chassis stiffener, allows the racer the ability to completely change the cars characteristics by mounting or removing these parts. The car will soon feature a new 2-speed clutch shoe which hasnt yet been completed, but it will be ready in time for the cars release in December.
View more high resolution images of the car in our event gallery.